What are the lessons about materialism that are brought out in the story?
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Tom's choices in this story are reflections of his valuing material wealth and financial prosperity over the well-being of others. He is more concerned with the loss of his valuable property than he is with the murder of his wife by Old Scratch. He shows no sympathy for those who come to him seeking loans, and instead bleeds them dry. Tom's values lie in the wrong place, and in the end he is punished for it.